Well, 2005, to be exact. I wrote this back then, but never did anything with it. So you get the pleasure of enjoying it now for the very first time ever! (and I get the pleasure of cleaning off my Vista desktop - just in time for Pesach ;-))))
I like that I've described myself as happy. I still would; in general, I think being a SAHM has made me happier than I have been at any other time of my life. I'm just down in general right now... I definitely still think I have the best job in the entire universe.
And I still feel sad every time a baby at Mrs ViKi or another program we go to turns 1, knowing that means the baby will be parted from his or her mama as she goes back to work, BMW or no BMW...
"It's 5:48 pm," I heard the new ad begin as I drove home this evening. "The daycare closes at 6:00. After that, it's $1 per minute." Now they had my attention. What was this ad for? "To avoid your little girl being the last one in that room, you'll have to drive through slush, snow... but in your new BMW..."
Aha. Your new BMW sport-ute is just the thing to help you claw your way past the traffic to reach your little one in time for some "quality time" before she passes out from exhaustion at the end of her ordeal in the "day orphanage," which probably began when it opened at 7:30.
Your new BMW is the car that'll start in the morning so her "teachers" can pour her a bowl of cold cereal, if they notice she's hungry... the car that'll purr you off to work so her "teachers" can usher her to the potty, if they notice she has to go... the car that'll hold an empty carseat all day while her "teachers" tend to her every bump, bruise and, if they notice, her need for hugs.
And then, at the end of the day, just like they say in the ad, it's the car that'll get you there just in time so you won't have to spend that dollar a minute to trouble your daughter's "teachers" by waiting with her, watching the clock, all alone in that darkened daycare room.
I know all about daycare, because my two kids were in the best one around for years. I know about paying $1 per minute past that 6 pm deadline, because I paid it many times, sticking around at work to finish just one more vital task.
And along the way, I missed breakfasts, potty training, arts and crafts, boo-boos, and so many hugs it breaks my heart to think about it, because I know their "teachers" probably missed them too.
I have a new baby now, with a man who knows there are more reasons than economics for me to stay home. But I am home for all three kids. At 10 and 11, my big kids need me more now than ever, and I tried to make up for lost time with a glorious summer with all three of them this year.
We have no BMW, and there's no hope of one entering our lives - ever. We have a pathetic little Hyundai... and our kids love it. We may be the only family in their school without a sport-utility vehicle, but our car is little, it's white, it's shaped like a marshmallow (a dirty marshmallow) and it has a smile across the front like a dolphin.
There are rarely empty carseats in our car. And it's full of kid-detritus, hats, mitts, water bottles, stories on muddy cassette tapes (there's no CD player). The seats are well-kicked and the only "automatic" is the windows which will slide down on their own if you don't roll them up tight enough.
And I wouldn't trade it for a million dollars if it meant ever having to drop off a baby in daycare ever again, or miss kissing a boo-boo, or potty training, or homework time.
I belong at home. That fancy new BMW belongs... well... to someone else. But definitely not to someone happier.